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New England trip recap: retail shops, restaurants, and relationships

New England trip recap: retail shops, restaurants, and relationships

My heart is overflowing with joy after my recent trip to New England with my Mom. One of my favorite parts of owning a small business is stopping into shops that carry Alison Rose Vintage products.

We stopped at Wellfleet Marine on Cape Cod, Locally Yours in Plymouth, MA, Three Buoys and a Mermaid in Duxbury, Framed in Time in Framingham, Kitchen Sink Candle Co in Bolton, Willow in Windham, NH, and Sea Love in Kennebunkport, ME. I got to meet several shop owners, sit for hours with people I’ve collaborated with over the years, and stop and chat with several of my fellow maker friends at the pro.found market.

Here’s a recap of my trip plus some amazing retail shops and restaurants to visit if you’re ever in New England.

Provincetown, Massachusetts

After picking up our Turo rental car (it’s like Airbnb for cars) at the Boston airport, we made our way to Provincetown, MA on Cape Cod to stay at an Airbnb right on the beach. It was so peaceful and serene there, like all the P-town beaches.

Alison Rose Vintage salt water print on wave paper on Provincetown MA beach

On our first full day we spent the whole day shopping and eating downtown. One shop that stood out to me was called Womencrafts. They’ve been there for over 40 years, feature over 100 female artists, and carry very cool and inclusive products and books. They don’t sell my products, but I spotted some Kwohtations cards by Janine Kwoh who I wrote about in my last blog post. Also, if you’re looking for some really good brunch in Provincetown, you must try Yolqueria (we also loved the Portuguese Bakery and Spindler’s).

Wellfleet Marine in Wellfleet, Massachusetts

On our second full day in town, we stopped at a shop that carries Alison Rose Vintage prints called Wellfleet Marine in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, just south of Provincetown. This is a really unique shop because it’s nestled into a full-service boatyard. It’s filled to the brim with beautiful beach house décor and coastal gifts. I just loved walking around and spotting my prints on various shelves throughout the shop. I also got to meet the owner Jill for the first time in person, her daughter, and their new puppy Hooper.

Alison Rose standing in the Wellfleet Marine shop with her beach and Cape Cod prints

If it wasn’t storming like crazy when we went, I would’ve explored more of the pier, but I’ve been to Wellfleet before and love it there (drive-in movie theater and the Pearl Restaurant for shrimp tacos and frosé!).

Bread + Roses in Hyannis, Massachusetts

We then stopped into a very cool and inclusive café and bookstore called Bread + Roses in Hyannis, MA to meet my friend Autumn who I had only ever met virtually. Autumn and I started chatting via Instagram last year when I was looking for someone to take some photos for my website. We then connected even more after we both unexpectedly lost a sibling.

We sat at Bread + Roses for 3 hours just chatting about everything from past jobs, friendships, death, grief, our passions, books, literally everything. And those are my favorite types of conversations because they are just SO good for the soul. Also, Bread + Roses has the most delicious vegan food, drinks, and diverse books. Go check it out if you’re ever on Cape Cod.

Scargo Café in Dennis, Massachusetts

Later that evening, we went to dinner at Scargo Café in Dennis, MA with another friend I had only met virtually—Melissa from Salt and Branch. Melissa sells some of my prints on her website and we’ve collaborated on a few candles in the past, plus she also makes her own amazing soy candles and coastal décor.

This was another conversation that left me feeling super grateful because we could chat about all the good and bad of social media and owning a small business as well as our hopes and dreams. Plus, we got to eat some really yummy food together (the cocktail I had was incredible too). And Corporation Beach in Dennis was gorgeous!

Alison with Melissa from Salt and Branch and Corporation Beach in Dennis MA

Locally, Yours in Plymouth, Massachusetts

As we were leaving the Cape, I knew we had to stop at a few shops in the South Shore. The first one was Locally, Yours in Plymouth, MA. The shop owner Alyssa has been ordering Alison Rose Vintage cards and prints for years, but somehow when I was living outside of Boston, I never made it to her shop.

So, this was an extra special stop because Alyssa has always been so supportive, and her shop is the whole reason I’ve created more and more beachy/coastal prints. It was so great to finally hug Alyssa and shop her lovingly curated products (I bought an adorable hoodie and an ANJ bracelet!). While we were in town, we had lunch at East Bay Grille which was delicious!

Alyssa and Alison standing in Locally, Yours shop plus Alison Rose Vintage prints

Three Buoys and a Mermaid in Duxbury, Massachusetts

Duxbury, MA is such a gorgeous town—I don’t know how I had never been before. But for my first time I stopped in to Three Buoys and a Mermaid. I didn’t have the fortune of meeting the shop owner Sarah, but I did get to see my prints framed around the shop and an amazing countertop display of all my prints at checkout! Sarah also has my prints available in her Hingham, MA shop called Mainland, and she buys for the Wequassett Resort Shop on Cape Cod as well. While we were browsing Three Buoys, Sarah’s friend and a customer told us that we had to go to the Duxbury Beach and take in the scenery which did not disappoint!

Alison Rose Vintage prints on the countertop in Three Buoys and a Mermaid shop in Duxbury, MA

Framed in Time in Framingham, Massachusetts

From the South Shore, we made our way over to the Metrowest area of Massachusetts and stopped at Framed in Time in Framingham. My friend and artist James Heroux buys Alison Rose Vintage prints and cards for the gift shop there. I met James when I joined the Sudbury Art Association a few years ago and since then he and his wife have been endlessly supportive of my business. He just built the most amazing frames to display my products and I’m so happy I got to see them. Framed in Time also has many locally made goods and while you’re there you can get your artwork or cherished item custom framed.

Jack’s Abby + Avenue C in Framingham, Massachusetts

Jack’s Abby in Framingham is one of my favorite restaurants/breweries in the area (and my Mom’s favorite too). But this stop was extra special because the shop owner of Avenue C, Suzanne, the artist I collaborate with, Patricia Shaw, and one of my fellow maker friends from Trillium Designs, Christine, all joined us for a girls night out. It truly filled my heart to see them and just catch up on all things life, work, family, and future. Plus, the weather was perfect to sit in the beer garden and I got to eat my favorite wings and drink my favorite beer, Pearly (from their Springdale brewery).

Christine from Trillium Designs, Suzanne from Avenue C, Alison from Alison Rose Vintage, and artist Patricia Shaw

I didn’t get to make a stop this time, but I practically used to live there so if you’re ever in the area you have to stop at Avenue C on Eastleigh Farm. It’s an absolutely incredible store full of gifts and home décor, plus she’s carried Alison Rose Vintage products for nearly 5 years now. They usually have fun events on the weekends, an ice cream bus, and lots of animals to see on the farm. It’s in the prettiest area of Framingham, and while you’re there you can hop on over to the Wayside Inn/Grist Mill, Sudbury Historical Society, and the Laurel Grove shop in Sudbury.

pro.found market in Lancaster, Massachusetts

Speaking of Laurel Grove, I got to see the shop owners Isabelle and Michelle when I went to the pro.found market in Lancaster, MA! This market is such a beautifully curated bunch of small businesses who sell antiques and handmade goods with live music and food trucks. I used to vend at pro.found, but this time Mom and I had the absolute pleasure of just chatting and shopping all day.

Alison Rose and her Mom at pro.found market in front of a red truck and flag

I got to see SO many of my fellow maker friends like Mary from Farm + Sea, Kevin at Reclaimed and Salvaged, Mary from On the Road Again, Dawn from Pillows and Things, Paula at The Crate Cottage, Karen from Birch and Ivory (I added another bag to my collection!), Caroline from Tin Box Jewelry, and Sarah from The Wildflower Truck.

A few of my friends met up with me there too, like my friend Karen from Simply Homemade (and she brought us her cookies!). We spent 5 hours there, mostly because I stopped to talk to every single booth haha. But it was such a good day and I highly recommend checking out the Spring or Fall market if you can.

Bolton, MA + Hudson, MA

After the pro.found market, we stopped at Kitchen Sink Candle Co which is the cutest little shop in Bolton, MA (with another location in Groton, MA). And then we went to Hudson, MA, one of my favorite towns in the area. We ate at one of my favorite restaurants, Rail Trail Flatbread Co. (Mexican street corn flatbread always!), and we walked the adorable streets and stopped for some music in their square. It was too late for shopping, but there are a lot of really good shops there like The Haberdash, Vintage Anthropology, B. Barton (antiques), and Regina’s Connection.

CRACK’D Kitchen in Andover, Massachusetts

The next day, we stopped at CRACK’D Kitchen in Andover, MA on our way to New Hampshire and Maine and met up with one of my favorite people, Joi. I had a delicious breakfast sandwich and we got to catch up on life. Joi’s just one of those people that feel like sunshine and always makes me smile (even when our lives are rough)… and she’s a registered dietitian if you ever need one!

Willow in Windham, New Hampshire

Next, we stopped at Willow in Windham, New Hampshire. The shop owner Brenda is one of the most talented and supportive women you’ll ever meet. Her interior design skills and ideas are next level which is probably why her shop feels like a friend’s cozy home and she nails every interior design job that she gets.

I am so lucky Brenda found me at the pro.found market years ago and wanted to carry my cards and prints in her shop. She creates the most beautiful displays for my products and carries such stylish décor and unique gifts. Willow is near the Massachusetts border so if you’re in the area, you have to go!

Brenda and Alison Rose standing in Willow shop with display of Alison Rose Vintage prints

Sea Love in Kennebunkport, Maine

Last but certainly not least, we made our way to Sea Love in Kennebunkport, Maine. The shop owner Stacy has been enormously supportive of my business even though we had only met virtually up until this trip. I was so excited when she told me she was going to take her candle business and turn it into the most beautiful boutique candle bar experience. And she has been taking me along for the ride ever since, placing order after order from me and sharing my work with her customers.

Everywhere you look in her shop, you’ll see a bunch of my prints and cards displayed. And while I was visiting, one of her customers asked me to sign the back of one of my prints—it was one of the sweetest encounters I’ve ever had!

Stacy and Alison standing in Sea Love in Kennebunkport Alison signing print for customer

Mom and I had the pleasure of going to dinner with Stacy at the Nonantum Resort which was delicious. And we got to chat about our paths to launching our own businesses, finding time to do things that bring us joy, and what the future holds for us. I am so proud to know Stacy and be a part of her shop(s). She also just opened a factory and studio shop in Biddeford, ME and is now franchising Sea Love!

While we were in Kennebunkport, we stayed at The Inn at English Meadows. This B&B was so lovely and seriously served the BEST breakfast each morning (I’m still dreaming about it). We also really loved shopping around town, driving on Ocean Ave, stopping at the beach, and going to Allison’s, Batson River Brewing, Pedro’s, and Old Vines Wine Bar.

Alison Rose in Kennebunkport by the ocean and moon over the ocean at the beach

Oh, and before heading to the airport, we stopped at Harding’s Rare Books in Wells, Maine. It was an incredible bookstore and yes, I bought 12 books to resell in my Etsy shop and lugged them through the airport haha.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

On our way to the airport, we stopped for lunch and a little shopping in Portsmouth, NH. If you love cute harbor towns with lots of shopping and eating, you’ll want to put Portsmouth on your New England trip itinerary. We stopped into the cutest coffee shop called Cup of Joe and a couple of shops like Inside Out and Prelude Boutique.

Other New England shops to visit

I wish I had endless time and money on this trip because I would’ve continued the trail of shops that carry my products—everywhere from Five Crows in Natick, MA to Home & Garden Vermont in Burlington, VT. I’ll just have to plan another trip!

You can see the full list of my retail partners here: https://www.alisonrosevintage.com/pages/current-stockists.

Building relationships with other small businesses and makers is truly one of the many blessings of this business, but also one of the most unexpected. I had no idea I was entering a world of so many collaborative and supportive people that fill my heart and inspire me every single day.

If you or someone you know owns a shop or is a maker, tell them about Alison Rose Vintage so we can connect and maybe work together in the future! I would love to keep expanding and building these very special relationships.

Thanks for reading!

With love,

Alison Rose

Social media: @alisonrosevintage

Shop: alisonrosevintage.com

 

 

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